When you first learn that your brain could mistake your own dad’s face for a meaningless hat or that your personality could shift from a jerk to the nicest guy, it makes you marvel at the awe-inspiring world of neuroscience. Granted, you’d have to have a serious impairment – visual agnosia – or a poll accidentally driven through your left frontal lobe like Phineas P. Gage, but even so, these thoughts, feelings, and ideas we grew up thinking were resolute, are actually more fleeting and dynamic. These alterations in perception and personality are mind blowing, but one of the aspects of the nervous system that makes me speechless in its simplicity are spinal cord injuries. Animals started to evolve around 600 million years ago, bringing along with it, the nervous system. And here we are, 600 million years later and one break along the spine and we lose control of the lower limbs. That’s it. All the evolution to create this body to function at its peak and it’s lost, with – so far – no standard way to repair it.
At 18 in my first quarter of college during my Human Brain and Disease course where I learned about these unbelievable phenomena, I became hooked on Neuroscience. My love for research, which was discovered during first job post high school at UCLA, now had direction. With this I gained valuable experience working in both wet and clinical labs to give me a varied and broad overview of research methods. After years conducting research I have realized that I not only want to widen my understanding of the brain and the world it inhabits, but relate this understanding to the community around me. Ultimately, the acquiring of knowledge is worth more if shared.